On May 1st, my hiking buddy and I decided to walk up the front end of the Multi-use Trail in order to explore the Summer Bypass Trail. At the entrance, I took the opportunity to purchase my annual car pass. Since I was a frequent visitor to our local state park, I always felt that the park system was probably losing money on my annual purchase, but I hoped the fee went towards maintaining the park, which to me was a very good thing indeed.
After navigating that steep angle of the road from the entrance booth to the trail head, we made our usual stop at the Megunticook trailhead to rest for a minute. Even during this short distance, there was enough going on alongside the road to slow down our pace. Solomon seals, Canada Mayflowers and Bellworts were cropping up everywhere!
From the Megunticook trail, we continued our walk up towards the one-mile marker. In another ¼ mile we reached the Summer Bypass Trail which veered off to the left. The path curved back and forth uphill for a bit, with a few flat areas in between.
We did not find the trail too difficult but it was not one of the popular ones, so some areas were a little close and there were no planks or bridges across waterways. There were 2 streams where we had to determine which stones to step on in order to cross. Another area, near the end of the Bypass was muddy, so we had to figure out some creative navigation there, as well.
Not far from the first stream, I was distracted by some white spores growing on some rock moss. We knelt down to study it up close, and of course to get some pictures. Here is where I discovered that as we get older it becomes so much harder to get up from a kneeling position. Oh, the joys of growing old!
After crossing the second stream, my friend was distracted by a beautiful, large quartz rock with a blanket of moss over the rock. She lifted the moss and ran her hand over the rock to study it more closely. This was not her best moment, for when we turned back to the trail, she discovered she was bleeding at the base of her thumb. Normally, she is the one to carry the first aid kit in her backpack, but for whatever the reason, she had decided to leave her pack at home that day. The best I could offer her was a clean tissue. With her thumb wrapped up, we continued on.
Not long after that incident, we had to navigate that muddy section mentioned above. The interesting thing here, was that we could see the Multi-Use Road straight down towards our right, but the trail headed deeper into the mud towards our left. Not sure why, but it looked like a straight walk would have been drier.
Once on the Multi-use Trail, we headed back down towards the entrance. Along the way we discovered several patches of yellow and white Violets, as well as the small beginnings of Blue-bead Lilies and Hobblebush. May was certainly a great time for hiking and wildflower discoveries.